So early this year I was painting a room and listening to music and feeling a little nostalgic so I started listening to the stuff my parents liked. I have some thoughts.
  1. It started with stuff I knew and/or heard as a kid - Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello - and I thought, "if I had been born in the 50s, this would be what I had - what I'd grow up listening to."
  2. So I decided to spend the year immersing myself in it and see what happened
  3. I added albums to Rdio (r.i.p.), which led to other recommendations, I spent a lot of time on allmusic, I asked people for stuff they liked
  4. And I learned a few things:
  5. Let's not bury the lede - I wasn't able to go a full year. I got to June and diminishing returns were setting in, so I bailed.
  6. At first it was slow going - i found it hard to connect to music 40 years removed from me
  7. And it made me feel like music is a city built on top of the ruins of another city built on the ruins of another city - you need each layer but it's bedrock rather than its own reality - for the new thing to be built, you have to break the old one down and build on top of it
  8. But the more I listened to only music from that decade the more it spoke to me - like a trip in a time machine to somewhere recognizable but also recognizably different and earlier
  9. And when I stopped, it had actually changed my listening habits considerably - Whereas probably less than 10% of my listening previously would have been to music made before I was 10, now it's more like 50-60%
  10. And it's nice.
  11. So I feel like a list of "best albums" would be reductive
  12. And maybe a little obvious - I feel like consensus has mostly been reached on a decade this far removed
  13. So this is a different kind of list - just some takeaways and thoughts
  14. Hope you enjoy:
  15. David Bowie is a fucking otherworldly genius and blows me away
  16. I can't name a single Van Morrison song other than the ones that have the same name as the albums but I could listen to Van Morrison records all day, full stop.
  17. I like Elvis Costello and Graham Parker and Joe Jackson just as much as I did when I was 10
  18. George Clinton must have done SO MANY DRUGS
  19. I love all Parlaiment albums from the 70s but only half of the Funkadelic ones
  20. For someone who likes Prince as much as I do, I listen to the self-titled '79 record way too little (or did)
  21. If I was making a list, The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle would be way at the top
  22. But I kind of can do without Springsteen otherwise
  23. Oh my god, I haven't mentioned the Faces yet
  24. The Faces, holy shit, are the best
  25. I've listened to Ooh La La a hundred times
  26. And Young Americans too
  27. Can was incredible too, particularly Tago Mago
  28. And Brian Eno OWNED the 70s
  29. Also I never realized how amazing Loaded was and kind of tended towards the first three records
  30. But Loaded. That's a great record.
  31. Maybe the 80s next year?
  32. Thanks for reading.